LONDON, Sept 1 The names of newspaper staff a
private investigator says ordered him to carry out phone hacking
for one of Rupert Murdoch's British tabloids could be made
public in a court ruling next month, a lawyer involved in the
case said on Thursday.
Last week, lawyers for Glenn Mulcaire, who was jailed for
illegally intercepting voicemail messages for a News of the
World journalist, handed over a list of names following an order
from a judge.
The document had been delivered to law firm Schillings. The
firm is representing the actor Steve Coogan, who believes his
phone was hacked and is suing News International, the UK
newspaper arm of Murdoch's News Corp.
Disclosure of the names would pile pressure on News
International and give a clearer picture of how widespread
phone-hacking was at the tabloid.
But police investigating the allegations have requested that
the details be kept secret.
"The Met Police have made an application that information
remain confidential in the interests of justice," Allan Dunlavy,
a lawyer with Schillings, told Reuters.
Dunlavy said the firm agreed not to disclose the names until
the police application was heard at London's High Court on Oct.
7. "We'll see where we get to at the end of that," he said.
Mulcaire was jailed in 2007 along with the newspaper's royal
affairs correspondent, Clive Goodman, for illegally accessing
the voicemails of royal aides and five other people, including
supermodel Elle Macpherson.
News International had maintained until recently that phone
hacking was limited to a single rogue reporter.
Following civil action by a number of individuals, including
Coogan, who believed their phones had been hacked, the company
said earlier this year it had evidence the practice was
widespread, prompting a police inquiry.
Some executives, including Murdoch's son James, chairman of
News International, now face accusations they knew about the
illegal activities at a far earlier date than they had
Other senior figures, including former News of the World
editorial staff, have been arrested by police probing the
allegations the tabloid's journalists illegally intercepted the
voicemails of celebrities, politicians, as well as victims of
crime and their families.
News International closed the News of the World in July after
the disclosure that the phone of a missing schoolgirl, later
found murdered, had also been hacked.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Karolina Tagaris)